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breeches. In about half an hour his two noble friends returned, but without having obtained any intelligence of his clothes or of the thief. Where Cook and Solander had disposed of themselves he did not know; but hearing music, which was sure to bring a crowd together, in which there was a chance of his associates being among them, he rose, and made the best of his way towards it, and joined his party, as Cook says, more than half-naked, and told us his melancholy story."
It was some consolation to find that his friends were fellow-sufferers, Cook having lost his stockings, that had been stolen from under his head, though he had never been asleep, and his associates their jackets. At daybreak Oberea brought to Mr. Banks some of her country clothes; so that when he came to us,” says Cook, “he made a most motley appearance, half Indian and half English.” Such an adventure must have been highly amusing to him who was the object of it when the inconvenience had been removed, as every one will admit who knew the late venerable president of the Royal Society. He never doubted, however, that Oberea was privy to the theft, and there was strong suspicion of her having some of the articles in her custody. Being aware that this feeling existed, she absented herself for some time, and when she again appeared she said a favourite of hers had taken them away, whom she had beaten and dismissed; “but she seemed conscious,” says Cook," that she had no right to be believed; she discovered the strongest signs of fear, yet she surmounted it with astonishing resolution, and was very pressing to be allowed to sleep with her attendants in Mr. Banks's tent. In this, how. ever, she was not gratified.” Sir Joseph might have thought, that he complied with her request his breeches might be in danger of following the uther articles of his dress.
The Otaheitans cannot resist pilfering “I must
bear my testimony," says Cook,“ that the people of this country, of all ranks, men and women, are the arrantest thieves upon the face of the earth; but," he adds, “we must not hastily conclude that theft is a testimony of the same depravity in them that it is in us, in the instances in which our people were sufferers by their dishonesty; for their temptation was such as to surmount what would be considered as a proof of uncommon integrity among those who have more knowledge, better principles, and stronger motives to resist the temptations of illicit advantage An Indian among penny knives and beads, and even nails and broken glass, is in the same state of mind with the meanest servant in Europe among unlocked coffers of jewels and gold." Captain Wallis has illustrated the truth of this position by an experiment he made on some persons whose dress and behaviour indicated that they were of a superior cast. “ To discover what present,” he says, “would most gratify them, I laid down before them a johannes, a guinea, a crown-piece, a Spanish dollar, a few shil lings, some new halfpence, and two large nails, making signs that they should take what they liked best. The nails were first seized with great eagerness, and then a few of the halfpence, but the silver and gold lay neglected.” Here, then, it might with truth be said was discovered
The goldless age where gold disturbs no dreams.
But their thirst after iron was irresistible. Wallis's ship was stripped of all the nails in her by the seamen to purchase the good graces of the women, who assembled in crowds on the shore. The men even drew out of different parts of the ship those nails that fastened the cleats to her side. This commerce established with the women rendered the men, as might readily be expected, less obedient to command, and made it necessary to punish some of them by flogging. The Otaheitans regarded this punish. went with horror. One of Cook's men having in.
sulted a chief's wife, he was ordered to be flogged in their presence. The Indians saw him stripped and tied up to the rigging with a fixed attention, waiting in silent suspense for the event; but as soon as the first stroke was given they interfered with great agitation, earnestly entreating that the rest of the punishment might be remitted; and when they found they were unable to prevail, they gave vent to their pity by tears. “But their tears," as Cook observes, • like those of children, were always ready to express any passion that was strongly excited, and, like those of children, they also appeared to be forgotten as soon as shed.” And he instances this by the following incident :-Mr. Banks, seeing a young woman in great affliction, the tears streaming from her eyes, inquired earnestly the cause; but instead of answering, she took from under her garment a shark's tooth, and struck it six or seven times into her head with great force; a profusion of blood fol. lowed, and, disregarding his inquiries, she continued to talk loud in a melancholy tone, while those around were laughing and talking without taking the least notice of her distress. The bleeding having ceased, she looked up with a smile, and, collecting the pieces of cloth which she had used to stanch the blood, threw them into the sea; then plunging into the river, and washing her whole body, she returned to the tents with the same gayety and cheerfulness as if nothing had happened. The same thing occurred in the case of a chief, who had given great offence to Mr. Banks, when he and all his followers were overwhelmed with grief and dejection; but one of his women having struck a shark's tooth into her head several times till it was covered with blood, the scene was immediately changed, and laughing and good-humour took place. Wallis witnessed the same kind of conduct. This, therefore, and the tears are probably considered a sort of expiation or doing penance for a fault.
But the sorrows of these simple and artless people are transient. Cook justly observes, that what they feel they have never been taught either to disguise or suppress; and having no habits of thinking, which perpetually recall the past and anticipate the future, they are affected by all the changes of the passing hour, and reflect the colour of the time, however frequently it may vary. They grieve for the death of à relation, and place the body on a stage erected on piles and covered with a roof of thatch; for they never bury the dead, and never approach one of these morais without great solemnity; but theirs is no last ing grief.
An old woman having died, Mr. Banks, whose pur suit was knowledge of every kind, and to gain it made himself one of the people, requested he might attend the ceremony and witness all the mysteries of the solemnity of depositing the body in the morai. The request was complied with, but on no other cor. dition than his taking a part in it. This was just what he wished. In the evening he repaired to the house of mourning, where he was received by the daughter of the deceased and several others, among whom was a boy about fourteen years old. One of the chiefs of the district was the principal mourner, wearing a fantastical dress. Mr. Banks was stripped entirely of his European clothes, and a small piece of cloth was tied round his middle. His face and body were then smeared with charcoal and water as low as the shoulders till they were as black as those of a negro. The same operation was performed on the rest, among whom were some women, who were reduced to a state as near to nakedness as himself. The boy was blacked all over, after which the procession set forward, the chief mourner having mumbled something like a prayer over the body. It is the custom of the Indians to fly from these proces. sions with the utmost precipitation. On the present occasion several large bodies of the natives were put
to flight, all the houses were deserted, and not an Otaheitan was to be seen. The body being deposited on the stage, the mourners were dismissed to wash themselves in the river, and to resume their customary dresses and their usual gayety.
They are, however, so jealous of any one approaching these abodes of the dead, that one of Cook's party, happening one day to pull a flower from a tree which grew in one of these sepulchral enclosures, was struck by a native who saw it, and came sud. denly behind him. The morai of Oberea was a pile of stone-work, raised pyramidically, two hundred and sixty-seven feet long, eighty-seven feet wide, and forty-four feet high, terminating in a ridge like the roof of a house, and ascended by steps of white coral stone neatly squared and polished, some of them not less than three feet and a half by two feet and a half. Such a structure, observes Cook, raised without the assistance of iron tools or mortar to join them, struck us with astonishment, as a work of considerable skill and incredible labour.
On the same principle of making himself acquainted with every novelty that presented itself, Captain Cook states that “Mr. Banks saw the operation of tattooing performed upon the back of a girl about thirteen years old. The instrument used upon this occasion had thirty teeth, and every stroke, of which at least a hundred were made in a minute, drew an ichor or serum a little tinged with blood. The girl bore it with most stoical resolution for about a quarter of an hour ; but the pain of so many hundred punctures as she had received in that time then became intolerable: she first complained in inurmurs, then wept, and at last burst into loud lamentations, earnestly imploring the operator to desist. He was, however, inexorable; and when she began to struggle, she was held down by two women, who sometimes soothed and sometimes chid her, and now and then, when she was most unruly, gave